The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting on Wednesday at Puccini’s Restaurant on West Side Avenue in Jersey City.
The guest speaker for this year’s annual meeting was New Jersey political commentator and motivational speaker Steve Adubato, who spoke on making “connections” on a personal and business level as he promoted his new book, “Make The Connection: Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home” (Rutgers University Press).
Adubato weighed in on current Governor Jon Corzine, who he said was a “stiff presenter” but a better speaker when he isn’t reading from a script.
He cited former governor Jim McGreevey as someone who was “charismatic” but was “incapable of telling the truth” because he wasn’t able to connect on a personal level with people.
He mentioned past presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, whom people may have disagreed with on a number of issues but were both elected twice.
“This whole thing of connecting is whether people have a good feeling about you on some level,” said Adubato. “It’s not even scientific or logical.”
Representatives from local businesses such as the Provident Bank, Exeter Property Company and the Hudson Reporter were in attendance for the meeting, which is held every year to either elect or re-elect members to the board of trustees for the Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting offers local business people the chance to interact and exchange information with each other and local officials.
The Hudson Chamber of Commerce has been in existence for over 120 years, but only became known by its current title when Jersey City and Hoboken merged their chambers of commerce in 1979.
Currently, the president is Joanne Van Dorn and the chairman of the board of trustees is Dr. Carlos Hernandez, who is the president of New Jersey City University. There are 475 businesses in all 12 Hudson County municipalities who are members.Who connects and who doesn’t
The Newark native Adubato is known for interviewing New Jersey political figures on public television and giving political commentary on the Fox News Channel. He is also a former NJ state legislator and is a syndicated columnist in the Newark Star-Ledger.
Adubato discussed the subject of his book – making a connection.
“In politics, in business and in life, 99 percent of the game….is making a human personal connection with other people,” said Adubato.
Adubato spoke about how making connections require several things, including: listening to what the other person has to say, making direct eye contact, responding to what the other person says, and understanding the other people’s needs.
Adubato discussed the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court as a case where politicians did not make a connection with the public.
Adubato said that while most people disagreed with Alito ideologically, they felt a connection to Alito because of the conduct of the politicians questioning Alito on his views, such as Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Adubato also cited how President George W. Bush won the 2000 and 2004 elections despite the controversy regarding how he was elected, because by “a very small margin he connected with the American people,” even though many people disagree him on a variety of issues.
Adubato said, “The president, when he is truly himself – fumbling, bumbling, with a terrible vocabulary, not knowing how to speak the language particularly well, syntax all off – when he speaks from his heart and you know he believes what he is saying, even when he you disagree with him, you give him the benefit of the doubt that he connects.”